Blank Rome Welcomes Bankruptcy and Agribusiness Finance Partner Joseph M. Welch in Orange County
Blank Rome LLP is pleased to announce that Joseph M. Welch has joined the firm’s Orange County office as a partner in the Finance, Restructuring, and Bankruptcy practice group. A Certified Bankruptcy Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization with a broad-based bankruptcy practice representing lenders and other creditors, Joseph also dedicates a significant portion of his practice to representing agricultural lenders and advising agribusiness and food companies on a wide range of corporate matters. He joins from Buchalter, where he co-founded the Agribusiness/Agrifinance group.
“We are thrilled to welcome Joseph to our growing Orange County office and nationally recognized Finance group,” said Grant Palmer, Blank Rome’s Chair and Managing Partner. “The economic headwinds that our clients will navigate this year require experienced, trusted counsel from practitioners like Joseph. Our creditor clients will appreciate his track record of anticipating risk, potential insolvencies, and workouts, as well as achieving successful outcomes.”
Agricultural lenders and investors, food processors, packers, distributors, marketers, and growers turn to Joseph to handle bankruptcy, insolvency, and related matters. He acts as outside general counsel to agricultural companies, for whom he manages all litigation and transactional matters. Joseph was the lead counsel for the largest unsecured creditor, a food marketer and distributor, in a grower’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, obtaining 100-percent recovery plus interest for the creditor.
Joseph also represents secured and unsecured creditors in all elements of insolvency and bankruptcy matters and documents multimillion-dollar loan transactions secured by property and personal collateral. Additionally, he counsels clients in lending, leasing, and real estate matters. He has served as lead counsel in representing investors, large banks, lenders, and international and Fortune 100 companies.
“California boasts one of the largest agricultural markets in the country, and Joseph’s involvement in some of the industry’s largest bankruptcies and transactions in recent years will bolster our team’s offerings in this important sector,” said Lawrence Flick, Partner and Chair of Blank Rome’s Financial Services industry group. “With the agricultural industry facing major supply chain, inflation, climate, and other issues in 2023, companies will require strategic, in-depth counsel on these matters. Joseph’s experience and intimate knowledge of this critical space will help us further support multinational organizations operating in this sector.”
“Blank Rome is highly regarded nationally in both the finance and bankruptcy and restructuring space,” said Welch. “Its strong reputation, robust national platform, and established presence in key markets, such as Delaware, New York, Illinois, Texas, and California, make it the perfect firm for me to service my clients and grow my practice. I am also impressed by the firm’s collaborative culture and people, and I look forward to reuniting with several former colleagues, including partners Shadi Enos Jahangir and Anthony R. Callobre, who have moved to Blank Rome.”
Joseph earned his J.D., cum laude and Order of the Coif, from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, and his B.A. from Brigham Young University. He serves on the Executive Committees of both the California Lawyers Association’s Business Law Section and the Oregon State Bar’s Agriculture Law Section. He also recently served as chair of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Orange County Chapter, and as chair of the California Lawyers Association’s Agribusiness Committee.